[whatwg] Missing alt attribute name bikeshedding (was Re: alt="" and the <meta name=generator> exception)

Silvia Pfeiffer silviapfeiffer1 at gmail.com
Sun Aug 5 17:51:14 PDT 2012

On Mon, Aug 6, 2012 at 10:31 AM, Maciej Stachowiak <mjs at apple.com> wrote:
> On Aug 1, 2012, at 12:56 AM, Ian Hickson <ian at hixie.ch> wrote:
>> We briefly brainstormed some ideas on #whatwg earlier tonight, and one
>> name in particular that I think could work is the absurdly long
>>   <img src="..." generator-unable-to-provide-required-alt="">
>> This has several key characteristics that I think are good:
>> - it's long, so people aren't going to want to type it out
>> - it's long, so it will stick out in copy-and-paste scenarios
>> - it's emminently searchable (long unique term) and so will likely lead
>>   to good documentation if it's adopted
>> - the "generator" part implies that it's for use by generators, and may
>>   discourage authors from using it
>> - the "unable" and "required" parts make it obvious that using this
>>   attribute is an act of last resort
> Here's a review of other proposed names and a few new ideas:
> noalt
>     Pro: brief
>     Con: not very explanatory, so perhaps more likely to be misused
> relaxed [suggested by Ted]
>     Pro: correctly conveys "relaxed validation"
>     Con: not clear what is relaxed or why
> incomplete [suggested by Laura]
>     Pro: correctly conveys that a non-decorative content image is incomplete without a textual equivalent
>     Con: not clear what is incomplete or why
> unknown
>     Pro: correctly conveys the reason for omitting alt, i.e. that the name is unknown to the generator
>     Con: might not be clear that it is not for human authors
> unknown-to-generator
>     Pro: correctly conveys intended generator use
>     Con: not totally clear what it is that is unknown
> I don't have a strong opinion, but I think generator-unable-to-provide-required-alt might be long to the point of silliness.

I'd think it should at least mention "alt". Shorter would e.g. be

Names are difficult to get right. ;-)


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